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Today I have the pleasure of celebrating a dear friend's birthday. Now, I have only known Kris for a year, but already she has claimed a special place in my heart. Kris is what I have termed, "a free spirit", a throwback to the 1960's hippies. Her personna radiates peace and joy; her writings reflect the unique humor of Erma Bombeck.

I am celebrating because today I have so much to be thankful for. I have friends who are healthy and happy; I have friends who have overcome tragedies and illnesses and who are thriving. In the past year, I have done several podcasts, discussing how I overcame adversity. Like so many others my age, I am still faced with obstacles, but now am able to deal with them. I have the tools to handle whatever comes my way.

I have talked in length about my belief in Stoicism, how it reinforces the need for resilience and fortitude, the importance of having a virtuous character. This has been the cornerstone of my faith.

Being immersed in the philosophy of the Blue Zones, I am embracing more joy in my life by celebrating the lives of those around me. I rejoice in their faith, how they find the strength to work through the obstacles that face them, and forge ahead. My pool ladies are gathering together to find new recipes that reflect the eating habits of those in the Blue Zones. We discuss our concerns as we float around on our noodles, or trek across the pool. My new friends in the gym do the same, finding ways to enhance our lives. We are all finding ways to help one another.

It is a time to celebrate being alive. I have no time for living in the past or worrying about the future. Right now is the time to celebrate. None of us get through this life unscathed but we can reframe our lives; we can grow stronger. So, right now I am celebrating all that I have in life, the abudance of joy that I feel. And I can celebrate all this with Kris on her precious birthday. Happy Birthday, dear friend!

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Thank you Terri! This is a beautiful post written by a beautiful soul! I also treasure our friendship and look forward to many chapters ahead. Kris Downey

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